Sorry, grandma, the true winner of the PhP741 million (US$16.9 million approx) Grand Lotto has successfully claimed the prize on 10 December.
The winner is a New York-based Filipino engineering aide who is currently on vacation in the Philippines with his family.
The 60-year-old winner said he bought the ticket in Royal Mall in Subic Bay area, north of Manila, while his wife and three kids went out shopping.
The unidentified lucky winner said that when he bought the lucky pick ticket, a woman cut the line. When he won, he thought of the woman who crossed the line. Had she not done that, she could have won, the man believes.
It only took one hour for the "balikbayan" (Filipino returnee) to claim the prize. He presented the winning ticket, driver's license and California ID.
Living for 20 years in the US, the man split the check into two. He will bring with him half the amount to the US, and leave the other half in a secure bank in the Philippines.
Whereas winning the lottery is tax-free in the Philippines, he will have to pay taxes when in the US.
The tax law in New York states that proceeds from lotto draws are treated as if they were wages paid by an employer to an employee. The rates are 7.875 percent for the New York state, 3.4 percent for New York City, and 1.181 percent for Yonkers, a city in New York.
It took about 10 days before he claimed the prize because the winner was busy with family reunions while in the Philippines, almost forgetting about the ticket. He bought five tickets all lying on top of a cabinet.
A relative even left behind the winning lottery ticket. It was only checked after the winner started getting excited phone calls from his family.
Reports said that the lottery winner plans to retire in the Philippines after a year.
This jackpot prize is the largest prize ever in the history of Philippine lottery. Nobody has won the jackpot prize since 15 May.
A total of PhP4.1 billion (US$94 million approx) was generated in the 86 draws of the Grand Lotto jackpot.
According to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, 30 percent of the revenues was used for medical and health services of poor patients in the country, including hospitalization assistance, medical/dental missions and ambulance donations, and other charities.
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